This month marks 20 years since Jumeirah Emirates Towers opened its doors, cementing Dubai’s standing as a global hub for eye-catching architecture. Consisting of a hotel and office tower, the building has lost none of its lustre over the past two decades, continuing to stand as a visually striking gateway to Dubai’s financial district.
“Being at the forefront of innovation, Jumeirah Emirates Towers has been a beacon of light for 20 years amongst the Dubai skyline,” says Marcus Sutton, general manager of Jumeirah Emirates Towers.
To mark its 20th anniversary, here are 20 facts about one of Dubai’s most recognisable buildings.
1. In the 1990s, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, launched a design competition for a new landmark in Dubai’s growing financial hub. He requested twin towers that would be at least twice the height of the 149-metre Dubai World Trade Centre.
2. Construction of Jumeirah Emirates Towers started in 1996. It was designed by architect Hazel Wong, who still counts it as her favourite project.
3. The hotel officially opened its doors ahead of schedule on April 15, 2000.
4. Upon completion, it was the 10th tallest building in the world.
5. At 52 floors, the hotel tower is still the third-tallest all-hotel building in the world.
6. The distinctive design consists of two equilateral triangles, connecting traditional Islamic themes with contemporary architecture.
7. The slender triangular towers are clad in aluminium panels, allowing the buildings to capture the sun’s changing light. It also allows an entirely different perspective of the towers, depending on where they are viewed from within the city. Wong has said that the “key objectives in the design of the Emirates Towers was to create the composition and placement of the twin towers to appear to be constantly changing, depending on the point of view and time of day".
8. The towers consist of a 350-metre office tower and a 305-metre hotel tower, connected by a central podium, The Boulevard.
9. The towers will get a new neighbour in the Museum of The Future, which is scheduled to open later this year.
10. Architecture and design firm Pringle Brandon Perkins + Will was behind the hotel’s lobby, which consist of a 30-metre high atrium.
11. The hotel’s four glass elevators cover a distance of four meters per second.
12. Jumeirah Emirates Towers is home to 400 rooms and suites, including a two-level Royal Suite.
13. It was one of the first hotels in the UAE to introduce a floatation therapy pool room in its Talise Spa.
14. It was also one of the first hotels in the UAE to launch a dedicated ladies floor. Located on the 40th level, the Chopard ladies-only floor features nine rooms and one suite. In-room amenities range from yoga mats and a cosmetics fridge to Chopard bathing products.
15. Jumeirah Emirates Towers is the only city hotel in Dubai to offer unlimited complimentary access to Wild Wadi Waterpark.
16. The hotel’s staff includes 13 employees who have been with the hotel since its pre-opening.
17. The building is the location of the annual Dubai Holding SkyRun event, the city’s only official vertical race. It covers 52 floors, 1,334 steps and 265 metres.
18. Jumeirah Emirates Towers has won numerous awards and accolades in its 20-year history. Most recently, it was awarded Best Good Night Sleep at the Sleep Expo 2020.
19. The towers are home to the Office of the Future, which was inaugurated on May 23, 2016, and holds a Guinness World Record for being the world’s first 3D-printed office.
20. The office tower houses a number of financial and government offices. Other permanent residents include a flock of peacocks that wander the grounds.